The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, Jordi Molla, Paul Dano
Directed by: James Mangold
Music by: John Powell
Written by: Patrick O'Neill
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 30, 2010
"Never talk to strangers"
Big screen superstars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz come together in this fun, action packed thrill ride that breaks all the rules. When a small-town girl named June (Diaz) meets a mysterious stranger, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But she soon discovers he's a fugitive super-spy, who thrusts her into a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase that spans the globe. As the bullets and sparks fly, June must decide if her "Knight" in shining armor is a dangerous traitor or the love of her life.
I am most definitely an action film junkie and as such will usually overlook their tendency toward shallow plots and incredulous special effects. I caught the trailer for Knight and Day on another Fox title that I had in for review. It reminded me of Killers, a romantic action comedy that I recently reviewed and wasn't very impressed with. Here the story revolves around June (Diaz), a Bostonian traveling back from Kansas who bumps into a handsome stranger named Roy (Cruise) at the airport. The two wind up on the same flight and become acquainted. June is smitten by Roy almost instantly and has hopes of a developing relationship. She gets much more than she bargained for when she finds out that Roy is a rogue CIA spook that has stolen the prototype of a perpetual energy cell known as the Zephyr. In reality things aren't exactly as they seem however June has little time to stop and sort it out as she is considered Roy's accomplice by the pursuing CIA and Spanish arms dealers/terrorists vying to retrieve the Zephyr. A globe traversing game of cat and mouse ensues between Roy, the feds and the bad guys, with June caught in the middle. She may be the key to keeping the Zephyr out of the wrong hands but first she will have to figure out who to trust and why.
Knight and day is noticeably formulaic but in this genre that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The plot is decidedly thin and the characters, especially June, aren't fleshed out too well but I found this to be a fun film. It is obvious that by design this isn't meant to be serious action or stupid funny comedy. The script does a decent job of creating the right blend of action, romance and comedy. The romance isn't overplayed and the levity rarely feels unintentional which keeps the campy factor to a minimum. The pacing and action are on point which helps with the shallow storyline. Aside from that what probably makes Knight and day palatable is the performances and onscreen chemistry of the two leads. Like him or not Tom Cruise is effectively charismatic and knows his way around an action role. Cameron Diaz is hit or miss with me but I liked her in this part and thought that she capably held her own opposite Cruise. With the primary focus on the characters of Roy/June the supporting roles filled by quality actors like Paul Dano and Viola Davis left them feeling underused. Knight and Day may not rank among the best the genre has to offer but I found it to be a fun action/comedy that turned out to be a better movie than anticipated.
The rating is for sequences of action violence throughout and brief strong language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Knight and Day comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.
This is a reference quality high definition video presentation that features resplendent colors and deep, image penetrating resolution. Images boast transparent imagery, with defining sharpness that highlights fine object detail. The sweeping pans and vista views of the various shooting locations featured in the story offer three dimensional depth, lucid visual acuity and an almost tangible reach out and touch perspective. Contrast is boldly applied which slightly overdrives whites while adding punch to colors and dynamic quality to sun drenched sequences. Blacks and shadow detail are strong which provides dark scenes with excellent depth of field and noticeable gradational highlights. The sequences shot at night on the streets of Salzburg look terrific. Colors are rich and vibrant, with deep, beautifully rendered primaries that stand out but appear natural and tonally delineated. The video has a light veil of grain that imparts a filmic texture that isn't intrusive. There are instances where resolution drops off slightly. This appears innate to the photography and the integration of CGI/green screen backgrounds.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film's elements. John Powell's excellent music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, play an intricate role in the presentation. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room's acoustic environment is notable although I didn't consistently experience an enriching sense of envelopment during the action sequences. That doesn't mean that this isn't an entertaining surround sound experience because it is. I would have preferred more a bit more aggressive use of surround platform though. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I enjoyed this audio presentation but for an action based film there was little about it that left an indelible impression on me.
- (HD) Wilder Knights and crazier days - 12 minute featurette
- (HD) Boston days and Spanish nights - 8 minute featurette
- (HD) Knight and Someday featuring The Black eyes peas and Tome Cruise - 9 minute documentary
- (HD) Viral video: Soccer - 1 minute feature from the set
- (HD) Viral video: Kick - 1 minute feature from the set
- (HD) Knight and Day: Story - 4 minute featurette
- (HD) Knight and Day: Scope - 3 minute featurette
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- BD-Live: Live extras - Exclusive feature: Not your regular spy
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
- Bonus DVD of Knight and Day
After going in with low expectations I found Knight and Day to be a decent action comedy that benefited from a formulaic but well balanced script, good production values and solid performances from leads Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring reference quality high definition video, excellent DTS-HD Master Audio sound and an average assortment of bonus supplements that look behind the scenes. Fox has included both a digital copy and standard DVD which is always welcomed. Knight and Day isn't a bad way to spend an evening when you're in the mood for a little mindless entertainment.
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